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Oakland City (1-1)
11/11/2013 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 762
Monday, November 11, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bolstered by a 54-point first half, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team picked up the first win of 2013-14 and the first victory of the Casey Alexander era 88-78 over Oakland City on Monday night at Allen Arena.
The Bisons (1-1) could not miss early on in the game jumping out to a 15-2 lead when freshman guard Josh Williams fired his first collegiate trey up and it sailed through the net with 16:14 to play in the opening half.
Friday night’s leading scorer, junior guard Carter Sanderson, continued his hot shooting in the first half scoring 13 points in the opening stanza including a trio of threes.
“Carter came to play,” said Alexander. “He’s feeling pretty good on the offensive end right now but we’ve got to get him to learn that trading basket for basket isn’t an even swap. He needs to keep making shots and guard his man a little bit better on the other end, but I love his energy and I love the confidence he’s playing with.”
Sanderson would hit a three to put Lipscomb up 27 points at 51-24 with 5:26 to play before halftime but from that point on, Oakland City would outpace the Bisons drawing as close as nine points with just 2:26 to play in the game.
“I think about the game and we’re up 27 after 17 minutes which is nice,” said Alexander. “Obviously, that’s hard work on both ends of the floor and a lot of good execution. Then you look at the other side and that means you lost by 20 in the final 23 minutes.
“That’s the good and the bad and we’ve got to find the middle ground there.”
Junior forward Martin Smith would play a big role in fending off the Mighty Oaks comeback attempt with a 12-point effort in the final 20 minutes of play as the game tightened. The Clarksville native hit the biggest shot of the game with a three-point basket with 2:03 remaining putting the Bisons back up double digits. He finished the night with 19 points matching Sanderson for the team high.
The Bisons also got double figures from junior forward Malcolm Smith (14) and sophomore forward Talbott Denny (13). Malcolm Smith also notched a double-double grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds.
Oakland City’s Kendall Wittmer led all scorers with 21 points. Wittmer was joined in double figures by teammates Trevor Smith (18) and Lawrence Kinney (12).
After shooting 51.4 percent in the opening frame, the Bisons cooled off in the second half to shoot 46.2 percent for the contest narrowly edging out the Mighty Oaks 45.2 percent. Lipscomb dominated the glass from start-to-finish claiming a 48-30 edge in rebounding marking the second-straight game the Bisons finished with 40-plus rebounds.
The Bisons continue the run of five straight games in the Music City to open the season on Friday night at Vanderbilt. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Memorial Gymnasium. The game will air locally on 94.9 Game 2.
“We did plenty well in the first half and got a lot of layups,” said Alexander. “We had 23 transition points, so there are plenty of good things. We would just like to see ourselves be a little more consistent. For 40 minutes we needed to have a better effort but we didn’t get it.”